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Crimson Peak #FilmReview ‘Jane Austin with a dash of Mary Shelley’
November 26, 2017, 7:00 pm
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Crimson Peak (MA15+)
2015, Thriller, 1hr 58mins.
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston
Crimson Peak is currently available for mobile cinema events

Synopsis
In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds… and remembers. – via Letterboxd

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Review
Guillermo Del Toro the director behind the brilliant ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ and the OK blockbuster ‘Pacific Rim’ returns with Crimson Peak’ that thankfully falls more on the brilliant side of his catalogue rather than the blockbuster. He takes your classic haunted house story, adds some Jane Austin, some over the top art direction and a brilliant cast to give us a creepy ghost story that opts for ‘story’ instead of scares. That said many of the ghostly moments were extremely creepy and managed to give me goosebumps on more than one occasion. This is aided by an unnerving soundscape that puts you on edge, and is enough to make a turning door knob truly terrifying. This isn’t to say that ‘Crimson Peak’ isn’t without it’s gore, as anyone who has seen ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ knows that Del Toro uses violence sparingly. But when an act of violence does occur it is always shocking, and horrific and ‘Crimson Peak’ is no exception.

Del Toro with his growing back catalogue of ghostly creature features riffs on his previous creations, ghosts that bleed zero gravity blood, much like ‘The Devil’s Backbone’. The moths that seem to be inexplicably growing in numbers linking to his earlier work on ‘Mimic’. And the facial violence of ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ is definitely in your face here as well. The one thing that took me out of the movie was the heavy handed art department, that turned the house into a living, breathing and bleeding character in the film, it was beautiful and every frame of the film is worthy of wall space in a gallery. But it felt like a film set, rather than a habitable space.

Horror fans that are after loads of jump scares and gross outs will most probably be disappointed. But if you like Jane Austin with a dash of Mary Shelley with some creepy chills thrown in, ’Crimson Peak’ should be the haunted house for you.

Rating ★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Crimson Peak is currently available for Road Movie Mobile Cinema events. Please contact us for a film copyright quote for your next pop-up outdoor or indoor cinema event in South Australia or Victoria

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The Lighthorsemen #FilmReview ‘The cinematography is epic and best viewed on the big screen”
November 12, 2017, 7:00 pm
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The Lighthorsemen (PG)
War, Drama, Action. 1hr 57mins
Starring: Jon Blake, Sigrid Thornton, Peter Phelps, Garry Sweet.
The Lighthorsemen is currently available for mobile cinema events

Synopsis
Palestine, 1917. The British advance has been stopped by the Turkish line running from Gaza to Beersheba. The latest attack on Gaza has failed. The attacking forces included a regiment of Australian mounted infantry, the Light Horse… Lighthorseman Frank is wounded in a skirmish with Bedouin. He is replaced by a young soldier, Dave, who proves to be a crack shot, but reluctant to fire at the enemy. Dave proves himself during a German biplane attack. Recuperating in hospital, he meets a sympathetic nurse, Anne… The regiment is called upon for a bold flanking attack on Beersheba. But how do you convince the Turks the main attack will come at Gaza? And how do you attack across a desert without water?

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Review
War what is it good for? Providing the film industry with countless cinematic stories, and in this case the South Australian film industry. This 1987 production followed on the tale of the highly successful ‘Gallipoli’ made in 1981, except this time as the title suggests the soldiers are on horseback, as they mount an attack on Beersheba. This is an epic production and I imagine almost everyone who could ride a horse fast in South Australia was employed for a few months. In fact the climatic charge of the Lighthorsemen included many Lighthorsewomen as well.

The cinematography is epic and beautiful, and is best viewed on the big screen. Which was how I viewed it, when I projected it at the Gumeracha Town Hall, marking 100 years since the charge in 1917. The film itself marking 70 years since the attack when it was released in 1987. Despite the epic beauty of the cinematography the story tends to wander around following several different angles including a romantic angle between wounded soldier Dave Mitchell (Peter Phelps) and nurse Anne (Sigrid Thornton). This story thread tends to hold the most screen time and is actually based on a real life romance where they were married following World War 1.

Where the film takes an interesting angle is with the character Dave Mitchell. As his initial journey into war was one of revenge following the death of his brother. However faced with the reality of killing, he chokes putting everyone at risk. But don’t worry he does get a chance to redeem himself without killing anyone in the process.

The real highlight of the film is the charge. Feeling like a mix of ‘The Man From Snowy River’ and ‘Mad Max’. Not surprisingly the man behind the lens Dean Semler shot Mad Max 2 & 3 and you see his trick of keeping the camera extremely low to the ground during the charge, just like the action in ‘Mad Max’. Making it feel incredibly fast and dangerous, especially as things are exploding all around. This cinematography combined with expert editing makes this sequence breathtaking.

The Lighthorsemen is a well crafted epic war film, that unfortunately meanders around a bit long where it doesn’t need too.

Rating ★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★

The Lighthorsemen is currently available for Road Movie Mobile Cinema events. Please contact us for a film copyright quote for your next pop-up outdoor or indoor cinema event in South Australia or Victoria

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Life #FilmReview ‘We Need To Talk About Calvin’
October 23, 2017, 9:12 pm
Filed under: Film Reviews | Tags: , , ,

Life (2017)
Science Fiction/Thriller, 104 Minutes.
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds.
Now available for mobile cinema events

Synopsis
‘Life’ is an intense sci-fi thriller about a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station whose mission of discovery turns to one of primal fear when they find a rapidly evolving life-form that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.

Life

Review
Many scriptwriters claim that there are no new stories. But that doesn’t mean you should give up, because there are many points of view you can always use to create a unique angle on a familiar plot. Life promises a sci-fi thriller where an alien life form picks off crew members of a spaceship, drawing more than a close resemblance to the movie Alien. However, I was willing to give it a go despite this glaring similarity. After all there have been countless movies dealing with alien life forms that threaten our existence on earth and I am a complete sucker for them.

The alien creature, nicknamed Calvin, starts out being very interesting and original with its beautiful production design. It is kind of like a squid, jellyfish type thing that doesn’t take the appearance of the standard evil alien creature hell bent on taking over the human race. But as it’s size rapidly grows along with the body count the creature quickly starts to take the predictable appearance of something that’s more at home in one of the Alien films, Right down to the disappearing down the throat trick. I don’t think I’ve seen an alien film yet that doesn’t want to jam something down someone’s throat. I thought this let the film down a little, obviously the productions decision makers thought this thing didn’t look nasty enough so they had to keep mutating it as it grows. Haven’t they ever seen a Lion or Grizzly Bear? cute as hell until they are biting your head off. No, it has to be slimy with tentacles.

The film predictably goes on a by the numbers killing spree with only the zero gravity cinematography to keep you interested. The deaths are gross, drawn out and unoriginal. The only reason for the lingering killing scenes is probably down to the fact that there are only six crew members and you’ve got to milk every death scene for what you can.

All in all it sounds like I hated it, but it was actually quite enjoyable. It’s just a shame they didn’t have the guts to turn a familiar plot into something that felt exciting and original.

I also gave the film an extra star for the ending, at least they had the guts to take that somewhere original. I think I was quietly chuckling to myself for the rest of the night after that.

Rating ★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★

Life is currently available for Road Movie Mobile Cinema events. Please contact us for a film copyright quote for your next pop-up outdoor or indoor cinema event in South Australia or Victoria
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